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Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

Via Tokyo, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

I heard about this place from my friend thesuzchef, her husband went to high school with the owner of Via Tokyo – who also owns Ramen Jo and Haven. I love everything matcha! Via Tokyo specialises in matcha and milk ‘soft cream’ along with traditional Japanese desserts. Via Tokyo can be found on the busy street of Leighton Road, and the place is TINY – you can possibly sit about 12 people max?

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I’ve been here a couple of times now and every time it has been excellent. Mind you – I pretty much get the same thing every single time! Without fail, I always get the fruit matcha with shiratama amitsu. The green tea matcha is definitely one of the best I have had in Hong Kong. I have yet to go to Sweets house cha cha so I can’t compare but I really do like the matcha.

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‘The Mother’ had the original – soft cream anmitsu and although it is indeed creamy I do prefer the green tea matcha. It is infinitely better.

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I’ve also tried the green tea latte… LOVE! The place does get extremely busy, we have been lucky as we have been coming here off peak so only had to wait 5 – 10 minutes for a table. I am not sure if I would wait for 90 mins for a table though! Take away would be a better option. No doubt will be back – Dragon really enjoyed it also!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Via Tokyo

Shop nos. 1A-1B, G/F.,

Leishun Court, 106-126 Leighton Road,

Causeway Bay

Hong Kong

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Joo Hooi Cafe, Penang, Malaysia

Sorry for the lack of post this week, my laptop screen cracked! Dragon didn’t sit on it, I actually managed to crack it accidentally, and am getting it fix soon, so hopefully the blog post will be more frequent! *sigh*

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Now back to my Penang post… one cannot go to Penang and not eat Asam Laksa. I have heard wonderful things about Joo Hooi Café and ‘The Mother’ was on the hunt for the best laksa in Penang.

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Joo Hooi can be found on 475 Jalan Penang Road and you really can’t miss it. Lots of people and well, outside there are hawker stalls that sell cendol and pisang goreng (fried banana). We rocked up before midday and not everything was open yet.

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I really wanted to have some popiah unfortunately, the stall was still closed. I was on the hunt for the best CKT in Penang. Unfortunately I had to order one without the prawns or any sort of seafood as Dragon wanted some. I ordered the simplest CKT – Chinese sausage and egg and I have to say, it was magnificent! Even Dragon loved it, however, the heat really got to her and she didn’t eat as much as she had hoped.

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‘The Mother’s’ assam laksa. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of this as it had shrimp and LOAD of chilli! So had to take ‘The Mother’s’ word. The Assam laksa had thick rice vermicelli in fish broth. It was served with a spoon of delicious shrimp paste which diners get to mix themselves. ‘The Mother’ has never had Assam laksa so couldn’t really compare but he really enjoyed it.

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I was most excited about desserts – cendol! I have heard that the Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol is one of the best in Penang, so no doubt I had to try. Just be mindful that there are another stall right opposite of each other and they are both rivals! The one beside the Joo Hooi Café is definitely much better – yes I had two bowls – sssshhhh

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The cendol was good, not too sweet and even ‘The Mother’ who didn’t want any had half of it! hahahaha

I also got some grass jelly for Dragon in a bag (takeaway) which she absolutely loved.

Outside the Joo Hoi Café, there is an old man that sells pisang goreng – and my goodness – they were excellent! I was too full to have it at the time, so bought a dozen and no doubt we ate it that afternoon and it was still excellent!

Ah, I already miss the cendol and pisang goreng in Penang. We definitely ate well and can’t wait to go back again soon!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Joo Hooi Cafe

475 Penang Road

Penang, Malaysia

Opening time: 12.00pm to 5.30pm (closed on wednesday)

Feast, Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong

Feast is the hotel restaurant at Island East which is located in Taikoo Shing. I have been here a couple of times, and have been rather impressed both times.  Not to mention, Island East hotel has a pretty cool rooftop bar called Sugar which is stunning at night.

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The restaurant is very spacious and I LOVE the glass windows which gives the restaurant natural light. ‘The Mother’ and I were here for lunch, a very late lunch. There’s buffet or a la carte, and we both opt for the latter. The menu was vast, and it ranges from Asian and Western. You name it, they had it – fried rice, Hainan chicken rice, burgers, salads and many more. We started with some bread – I do love good fresh bread!

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‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the Hainan Chicken rice, and it was the MOST EXPENSIVE Hainan Chicken rice he has ever had. The presentation was excellent and it was delicious, however, at HKD200+, I think it was pricey for what it is.

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I on the other hand was craving a burger – beef burger with bacon and cheese with salad on the side and fries. The pattie was tender and with melted cheese and bacon, it was a pretty excellent burger and it was cheaper than ‘The Mother’s’ Hainan Chicken rice! It was exactly what I needed that day, and even Dragon has some of the pattie.

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We came back here a few weeks later, to try the afternoon tea buffet. Choices of sandwiches, salads, dim sum, waffles and crepes.

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The dessert station had a lot of option; unfortunately most of them had nuts in them which were a shame. Probably a good thing, which meant that I couldn’t eat a lot of them!

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My first plate consisted of Caesar salad, ham cheese and mustard on focaccia, sundried tomato and tahini on toast, and char siu bau. My second plate was very similar.

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‘The Mother’ opt for wonton noodles, which was pretty tasty.

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For dessert, I opt for the healthier option of fruits and some bread and butter pudding which I couldn’t resist.

Service was excellent, and food was pretty good. I do however prefer the a la carte menu as I can never eat too much at buffet and feel that I never get my money’s worth. However, in saying that, the buffet was about HKD300 including drinks which wasn’t too bad.

‘The Mother’ definitely enjoyed it, and so did Dragon.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Feast

1/F, EAST,

29 Taikoo Sing Road,

Tai Koo Shing, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 3968 3777

Portobello, Soho, Hong Kong

Portobello can be found on Staunton Street in Soho. It is a small British style café and bar. This café is TINY but has a relaxing and laid back atmosphere. It is known for their variety of cakes but also serve dishes including soups, salads, sandwiches, paninis and many more.

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We were catching up with a couple of friends, they too have moved from Sydney to Hong Kong. You have all heard about the lack of cafes in Hong Kong and yes, the quest still continues but I am beginning to think that I was spoilt by choice in Sydney and nothing will compare. I do thoroughly miss the cafe scene though!

I started with the strawberry smoothie – it wasn’t too sweet but it was delicious and a little too cold for a winter’s day!

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I was STARVING, and couldn’t resist ordering the Great British Fry-up – 2 fried eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, bacon, hash brown, tomatoes and toast. I would like to say that I didn’t finish it but that would be a lie. I ate pretty much everything except the hash brown as ‘The Mother’ wanted it. It wasn’t too bad comparatively in Hong Kong, not fantastic but not too shabby, and it had everything that I wanted.

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M couldn’t go past the egg and tomato croissant which she said wasn’t too bad.

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S had the smoked salmon bagels; we were actually surprised that there were two bagels instead of one – definitely a generous serving!

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‘The Mother’ LOVES his turkey sandwich and decided to order it. The turkey sandwich cost almost the same as the tea and drinks which is a little scary. Everything on the menu was around the HKD50 – 100 mark, however the sandwich was about HKD35. We thought ‘The Mother’ would get sick, but rest assured he was fine and thoroughly enjoyed his turkey sandwich!

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Like I said earlier, I am not sure why we didn’t order any cakes, the cakes looked good. Problem is with this small place, that it is hard to go with a group of people. One or two ok, but anything more than four I don’t think there are enough space! Regardless, cute little find, I’d be happy to return but definitely not Surry Hills or Sydney standards.

GA’s ratings: 6.5/ 10

Portobello

G/F, 9 Staunton Street

Soho, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2523 8999

Lab Made Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Laboratory, Tai Hang, Hong Kong

November 10, 2012 1 comment

I have heard a lot about liquid nitrogen ice cream – especially N2 Extreme Gelato which has recently opened in Sydney. I was bummed that I couldn’t try so when I heard that Lab Made Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Laboratory opened in Hong Kong, I had to see what all the fuss was about.

Lab Made can be found on Brown Street in Tai Hang, the place is TINY! The shop is surrounded by large glass windows where ice cream go-ers can witness the ice cream being made. There are no seating areas, there is a bench where you can eat your ice cream whilst standing. I love the fancy Kitchen Aid mixers running at full speed and the clouds of fog – it was pretty cool I thought! It’s about all the marketing and gimmick as ‘The Mother’ would say and I am a SUCKER for both! He used to say that I was a ‘marketers dream’ – whatever that’s supposed to mean! Ha!

We came on a busy night (I hear its busy every night), however, service is quite quick. Unfortunately that evening, when M (a friend who came to visit for the long weekend!) and I decided to go and try, they only had two flavours, moon cake and purple rice at HKD44 each.

The moon cake ice cream tasted like moon cake (surprise, surprise). It wasn’t as sweet as a moon cake but it had the right flavours.

The purple rice was less sweet, it was nice and creamy.

Overall the sweetness is ‘just right’, however, I had my hopes up and had high expectation that I was a little disappointed. It was ‘good’ but I don’t know if I would go back again. I was disappointed that they only had two flavours also as I wouldn’t mind trying the Ribena or blueberry and yakult yogurt or sticky date pudding.

The ice cream melted a little quicker than norm, it was good and now that I know what the fuss is about, I can say I have tried it – whether or not I’d go again? If I was in the area sure, but I don’t think I would go out of my way to go. I wasn’t sold by all the gimmick and the smoker unfortunately, shame! I heard the Sydney store has about 40 flavours?

GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10

Lab Made Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Laboratory

G/F, 6 Brown Street

Tai Hang, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2670 0071

Mid-Autumn Festival and Mooncakes!

September 11, 2011 1 comment

The mid-autumn festival is one of my favourite festivals, it is usually held on the 15th day of the eight month in the Chinese Calendar, which is usually either September or early October. It is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar and traditionally on this day, Chinese families and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon and eat mooncakes!

Now mooncakes, usually round pastries, delicious thick filing usually made from lotus seed paste and surrounded by a thin crust and may contain yolks (if you like them!). I don’t recommend eating them like donuts as they are incredibly rich! So cut them into small wedges and eat them bit by bit with tea or coffee.

There are many different types of mooncakes and I have eaten my fair share of them to know which one I like (and which brand!). Most common is the lotus seed paste which I like, probably most ‘original’ and most luxurious mooncake filing. There is also sweet bean paste, jujube paste or five kernel (which was 5 types of nuts and seeds, and possibly my least favourite!)

The crust, three different types – chewy and has a reddish-brown tone and glossy sheen, probably the most common type. There is also flaky crust which I don’t think I have had, and tender which is similar to shortcrust pastry – yes can be confusing and daunting for first timers!

If you thought that was confusing, now they have ‘contemporary’ style mooncakes with fancier filing like cream cheese, green tea, pandan, tiramisu, DURIAN (my fav!), coffee, and many more. They are also ice cream like mooncakes which are bite size so you can ‘pop’ them in your mouth! The crust varies also, non-baked, snowflakes, glutinous or even jelly.

Now, as you may know, my favourite Uncle is a fantastic baker! He made his own ‘limited edition’ snowflakes mooncake. I was told that the basic snow skin mooncake is the easiest type out there to  make and tastes quite delicious. I wouldn’t even dare attempt making them, so when Uncle said he made them, I thought I would post a blog – he makes it sound so easy!!!!!! He used a recipe from Anhs’ food blog.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words? So he has kindly put this photo together.

He made a couple of different sized mooncake, the one below he took – it only had one yolk.

He was kind enough to give me a bigger mooncake with two yolks! It was incredibly smooth and absolutely delicious. Loved the yolk as well. It was hard not demolish half of it in one sitting. Savouring each bite with a cup of tea. Thanks Uncle, it was ‘melt-in-my-mouth’ DELICIOUS!

Hope you got to eat at least one delicious mooncake! I know I did! I look forward to next year’s mooncake edition Uncle!

Bambini Trust Cafe and a quick visit to Cafe Cre Asion, Sydney

I have seen this cafe many times now, my bus would drive past this place and I have always wondered what it was like. No matter what time of day, I see many diners eating and drinking outside. So when I caught up with a fellow food lover, F, I couldn’t help but suggest this place and thankfully, she too has been wondering what this place was like!


Located on Elizabeth Street, opposite Hyde Park, this cafe is very slick, interior quite dark, antique mirrors, dark-wood bar, it was a lot larger than I thought but still quite cozy. Bambini Trust serves Italian and Mediterranean food. The food is generous, hearty and absolutely delicious.


We started with bread rolls, crunchy exterior and deliciously fluffy and soft on the inside.


F couldn’t go past the cape grim sirloin ($38) – chargrilled, porcini rubbed bistecca al fungi – saute of fresh mushrooms (36 month grass fed, free range Angus Sirloin from Cape Grim, NW Tasmania).


It was cooked just the way F wanted – medium rare, and it was tender and I love the sauteed mushrooms – full of flavours and wonderful.


I couldn’t go past the special, beef cheeks with dutch carrots and gnocchi ($38).


Melt-in-your-mouth succulent beef cheeks with cooked to perfection carrots. The gnocchi excellent, crunchy on the outside and pillow-y soft on the inside. It was such a hearty dish and perfect for the cold wintry day in Sydney.


We also ordered a side of ‘Darling mills Farm’ Salad leaves ($9.50) – pricey for what it is, but it was light and refreshing.


Reservation is definitely highly recommended. We didn’t make a reservation for lunch but thankfully someone cancelled and we got the last table available! Lots of suits, great for business lunch – can be a little noisy though.

Wine list extensive, as it should be as it is a wine room also. Definitely keen to check out the wine room once dry July is over and try their dinner menu. Service efficient, wait staff super friendly and professional. Meals were brought promptly and most importantly, food – superb! We both enjoyed our meal.


We didn’t have dessert but on the way home, I couldn’t help and get a coffee at Cre Asion. Located next to Berta on Alberta Street, this little cafe is owned by Yu Sasaki, ex Universal. The restauranteur, L, took me here a while back but have not had the chance to return until that day.

Macarons made daily and throughout the day, the cafe is tiny but there are a couple of tables inside and out for those who want to dine in.


Coffee bit of a hit and miss, first time was a little too watery, second time a lot better.

I couldn’t help but buy a couple of macarons – yes a couple for ‘The Mother’ as I am not usually a huge fan. However, these little babies were delicious. Not as sweet as I had anticipated and went down extremely nicely with my coffee.


Coffee and Green Tea – awesome! Whoops – sorry ‘The Mother’ – they were supposed to be for you! All flavours made from scratch using real ingredients. Prices of each macarons are $2.70 each, or $19 for 8 or $30 for a box of 14.


Too close to home, and definitely worth coming back for!

GA’s ratings Bambini Trust: 7.5 / 10

Bambini Trust

185 Elizabeth Street

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 9283 7098

Bambini Trust Cafe on Urbanspoon

GA’s ratings: Cre Asion: 7.5 / 10

Cafe Cre Asion

21 Alberta Street

Sydney 2000

Cafe Cre Asion on Urbanspoon